DWI Field Sobriety Myths

Field sobriety myths are something we deal with every day, especially as a Houston DWI lawyer.  I review DWI field sobriety tests daily. It troubles me how police officers score these tests and lack the necessary detail in their reports. 

By routinely doing this it illustrates their lack of knowledge of the DWI tests. Not only showing their lack of knowledge it also reveals their zeal for a DWI arrest. These police officers mislead the prosecutors by omitting crucial information, subscribing to the field sobriety myths that have developed over the years.

For example, officers routinely state that intoxicated drivers use their arms for balance when performing the DWI field sobriety test. Suggesting that this is an indication of intoxication and therefore the driver should be arrested. However, a person can use their arms for balance so long as it not more than six inches away from their side.  Unbeknownst to many, using their arms cannot be used against them as a sign of intoxication.  In fact, during the instruction phase of the walk and turn test, a person is allowed to use their arms for balance.  So long as they maintain the start position, the use of the subject’s arms is permitted. 

Another myth is that a person must touch heel to toe when performing the walk and turn tests. This is incorrect; a person is allowed half an inch between their heel and toe when performing this portion of the test. Most officers do not realize this despite it being in their manual for DWI detection. With the help of an experienced DWI attorney, you should be able to uncover the officer’s lack of knowledge of the field sobriety tests.